On Monday, “intelligent commodities” pioneer Xpansiv, together with energy and commodity data provider S&P Global Platts, announced a first-of-its-kind benchmark certification for methane performance in U.S. natural gas production. These so-called Methane Performance Certificates (MPCs) will allow U.S. natural gas producers to sell financial instruments representing zero methane emission natural gas production.

In order to create the MPC, Xpansiv had first to create Digital Natural Gas (DNG) units, which are digital representations of the complete physical and energy profile of natural gas, creating a blockchain-based chain of provenance back to a specific source, verified using third-party standards, protocols and certifications. The MPC’s are then recorded on Xpansiv’s digital registry, which is based on the methane-emissions intensity of the gas produced, providing a fungible Methane Performance Certificate that both incentivizes and provides a clear price signal for lower-carbon natural gas production.